Are you aware that there is a secret "listserv" populated by Washington's most self-important journalists, where they conspire on how to control the world via their influential ramblings? This thing is big! And secret!
Politico's Michael Calderone bucks the establishment and blows the lid off "JournoList," the secret society/ messageboard of the DC liberal media elite. He uncovered this far-reaching conspiracy with the twin investigative tactics of, 1) reading about it in Mickey Kaus' blog two years ago, and 2) talking to his three co-workers who are in the club.
We kid! Calderone did a public service simply by exposing, publicly, the fact that the cream of DC wonkdorkery may be in danger of imploding under the weight of their own self-importance. JournoList is sort of a sympathy club for those too liberal to get into Skull and Bones. Jeff Toobin and Eric Alterman and Joe Klein and DC's finest blogerati are on the list, but everything on there is off the record:
"It's sort of a chance to float ideas and kind of toss them around, back and forth, and determine if they have any value," said New Republic associate editor Eve Fairbanks, "and get people's input on them before you put them on a blog."
"For me, it's enormously useful because I don't like to spend my time reading blogs and reading up-to-the-minute political minutia," he said.
But Time's Joe Klein, who acknowledged being on JList and several other listservs, said in an e-mail that "they're valuable in the way that candid conversations with colleagues and experts always are." Defending the off-the-record rule, Klein said that "candor is essential and can only be guaranteed by keeping these conversations private."
And then Klein - speaking like the JLister he is - said there wasn't "anything more that I can or want to say about the subject."